Your ONE nights have been going on at Zouk for eight years now, even after you left the club four years ago. How has it developed?
As electronic dance music progresses and gets more cutting-edge and diverse, we sometimes tend to get carried away and take the music too seriously, creating a cold, dark, negative vibe in the club. I wanted my nights to still have a sense of fun and silliness, but without compromising too much on the quality of the music. So in choosing themes like Onederland, Onederlust, and now, Onedrous (over the past three years), not only do these themes serve as a guideline to a positive ambiance for the night, but they are also a play on the “ONE” branding, which only helps to reinforce my night’s motto of bringing together the clubbers, the music and the DJ into one cohesive groove.
What were some of the challenges you’ve faced as an independent DJ since you left?
I’ve been independent for almost four years now. It took me a good two years to really find my feet again. I had to get used to the inconsistencies of a “freelance” lifestyle where work comes in spurts and phases, and not a day in my life is ever routine. But the biggest challenge was keeping up with the local scene. Singapore’s nightlife is moving at quite a pace, with new bars and clubs sprouting like wildflowers, and new and younger DJs putting on their own nights, plus a healthy amount of fresh young clubbers entering the scene each year. I really do have to work doubly hard to maintain my presence!
Having been in the industry for so long, in what way do you think dance music in Singapore has evolved?
Well, there are definitely way more local bars and clubs than before. Some of them are definitely more clued-up to the music these days, finding their own niches, and subsequently offering new and interesting alternatives, making our scene more diverse and vibrant, and evidently giving our punters more choices.
What about established DJs like yourself?
As for those more seasoned DJs, several have progressed on to newer levels, either dabbling in music production, and/or ditching the standard club setup for a more digital setup and live performance. I would love to see more of these experimentation and performances in the clubs, and definitely love to hear more local productions.
Do you think local pundits have grown more open and accepting?
I would love to see more local clubbers appreciating and supporting local talent. So with the anticipation of several more bars and clubs opening up later this year, what we really do need, first and foremost, is to cultivate more people to understand and appreciate dance music, so that there will actually be enough clubbers to fill up all these venues in the coming months!
What’s new and good from your label?
My label’s next release, targeted to be on sale end February, is entitled “Sickness” by Stefano Fasciani, a young Italian currently based in Singapore. It comes with an Aldrin & Akien remix, which I’m currently putting the finishing touches on. Following that will be a remix EP from local rock band Electrico, which will feature a handful of remixes of selected tracks from their most recent We Satellites album. Thereafter, I’ll be working on an artist album with my production partner Akien, which we hope will see the light of day sometime later this year!
ONEDROUS: One with Aldrin 8th Anniversary is on Feb 12, 10pm. Zouk, 17 Jiak Kim St., 6738-2988. $25-30 includes two drinks.